One scenario for the next election is that of a ‘hung parliament’ where both Labour and Conservatives fail to get a working majority and may feel the need to look to the Liberal ‘Democrats’ to govern. Imagine, however, that at that election the Liberal ‘Democrats’ lose thirty or forty seats but still end up holding the balance of power.
In those circumstances Nick Clegg, the boy scout who seems to have ended up running the Nut Cutlets, says he will adopt the position of demanding a ‘new type of government’ as his price for supporting either Labour or Conservatives. Neither he, nor his MPs, however, will enter ‘a conservative government’ or a ‘labour government’ but will, presumably, make their demands from the sidelines (which, if they lose a bevy of MPs, will be exactly where they should be) for something “that empowers people not parties”.
Presumably the Tories and Labour will not go into the next election with similar manifesto promises, so if we end up with a ‘new system’ of government as a result, it will have been foisted on us by the third party which has just lost a big chunk of MPs and popular vote and for which there will, accordingly be no democratic mandate whatsoever.
How, pray, is that ‘democratic’?
About as democratic as the Lib ‘Dems’ promising a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon and then reneging on their promise. I rather think Clegg should not spend too much time waiting for the telephone call after the next election that summons him and his rump party to redesign the British Constitution behind closed doors in a Dutch Auction for the make-up of the next government.